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Entered USA without activating K-1

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Canada

Hi Guys,

I'm down here in the USA spending the holidays with my fiancee, and I'm hving a great time! I was a little worried (very worried, actually) about whether or not I could visit the US with a big fat K-1 visa on my passport (without activating the visa). So here is my experience. I hope it eases your mind.

I am self-employed, have no debt, and there is nothing much really holding me to stay in Canada (except for deciding who I will sell my business to). So when I searched this forum (as I have done throughout my whole K-1 process) I didn't really find any postings with anyone's experience in this particular scenario. All I gathered was that I was going to have to show proof of ties to Canada. So I spent some time putting whatever proof I could muster (all I ended up with was a list of client meetings for the month of Jan...) and lost sleep the night before my flight.

I arrived at the airport 4 hours early with an anxious stomach. As I lined up for US customs my palms began to sweat, and I raced through multiple scenarios in my head. I was pretty sure that I would be sent to secondary for interrogation and would certainly come close to missing my flight. I looked up suddenly and came back to reality, I was waved in by a Customs officer. "Ok it's show time!" I thought.

Here is a transcript of how it went (I will do my best to provide it as exact as possible without boring you to tears):

Officer: [in an inaudible voice]

Me: "Pardon me? I can't hear you."

Officer: "Where are you going?

Me: (handed him my passport) "I'm going to Florida."

Officer: (leafing through my passport and stopping at the K-1 visa looks at me)

Me: (trying to beat him to it and blurt out as much info in as little time as I could) "That's a K-1 visa. But I am not activating that today. I will be activating it in March. On this trip I will just be going to visit for 2 weeks."

Officer: "Well.. I don't know."

Me: I'm thinking 'what does he mean - I don't know?'

Officer: "I'm not sure if this is allowed." (and he started leafing through booklets that he pulled out of a briefcase) This indicated to me that he has no prior experience with the K-1 visa. So I thought I had better inform the guy and try to sound like I know what I'm talking about (which I actually do, thanks to VisaJourney and having gone through the process this far).

Me: (Very confidently speaking) "The gentleman at the embassy told me to tell you that I would not be activating the K-1 visa and that I will only be visiting. I didn't even bring the envelope so I would have no way of even activating this today if we tried. You should be letting me in as a B2 Visitor." He did not like this!

Officer: (in a very antagonistic tone) "How do you know what I should be doing? Why are you telling me how to do this?"

Me: "Well I travel back and forth every month. You can see that on your screen."

Then paused and looked at me with annoyance, and then began to shoot quick, angry questions at me without letting me finish the previous answer before starting on the next question (I notice that they are trained to do this - not sure why though, it's only effective in making the traveler feel upset) So I thought I was pretty much screwed at this time, so I would just return very quick antagonistic answers back. In Science class I learned that a wave of equal vibration will cancel out another wave traveling in the opposite direction. So I thought I would match his antagonism with my own! lol

Officer: "What do you do for a living? Who are your customers? What kind of people are they?"

Me: "What kind of people are they?"

Officer: "Yes. What kind of people are they?"

Me: "Officer, I'm not sure how to answer that - they're people.."

Then he asked me about my education and tried to convince me that my school program was called something else.. and then he handed back my passport and papers and let me through.. This was certainly the weirdest experience at customs yet! But I was really happy because this took all of 5 minutes and they let me through! And then I had to kill 3.5 hours at the airport, but It was worth it.

I am now here enjoying some quality time with my fiancee. The funny thing is, on this visit I'm getting really jittery and anxious because I know in 12 weeks I will be living here.... A whole new life in a whole new country.

Anyways, I hope someone out there finds this helpfull, or atleast amusing.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: England

Congrats on getting in with little harassment! I know that the customs officers hate! when you know more then them. My last visit to the UK was quite amusing as well. Customs officer didn't know what a K-1 was and looked at me like I was making it up, but she had all the paper work in front of her.

Enjoy your time/visit with your fiancee!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

flag45.gif Damian & Kelly 1502.gif

Rugby, England >> Harrisburg, PA.

Summer 2005 -- Met on Pokerstars.com

June 15th, 2006 -- Met in Person

Feb 1st, 2008 -- Filed I-129F

May 2nd, 2008 -- Visa Interview = Approved. (91days)

May 27th, 2008 -- Damian moves to America!

July 23rd - 30th, 2008 -- Damian's Mum Comes to the US for our wedding.

July 25th, 2008 -- Wedding Day!

March 16th, 2009 -- AOS Sent

May 8th, 2009 -- EAD & AP Approved (51days)

July 14th, 2009 -- AOS Approved!! (118days)

July 21st, 2009 -- Green Card Received (125days)

No RFEs the whole process :) All done myself.

December 4th - 30th, 2009 -- Visited England

April 8th - 30th, 2010 -- Damian's Brother visits us here in PA.

January 19th, 2010 -- Damian got his PA license.

December 10th - 19th, 2010 -- Visited England

September 16th - 30th, 2011 -- Damian's Parents came to visit us here in PA.

June 1st, 2011 -- Mailed ROC to Vermont.

February 21st, 2012 -- 10 Year Green Card Received

April 14th, 2012 -- N-400 Sent to Dallas Lockbox

November 26th, 2012 – Damian Became a US Citizen!!!

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Immigration personnel at (many destination) airports can be total Jackazzes, especially here.

Another story - I recall travelling back from Japan in 2003 (between overseas posts) and was harassed by yet another entity, US Customs. Given that I was between overseas postings, I listed no address on the customs declaration card. I was confronted by a guy who insisted that I list an address. Well, I did not have a US address at the time, since I had planned on visiting about 7 different addresses during the vacation.

To make a long story short, I was sent through secondary customs inspection. A point of note, I held a US Diplomatic passport (black - not blue). Meanwhile, many suspicious individuals walked into the USA.

Great program we have here. :wacko:

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Canada

Both myself (K-1) and my daughter (K-2) had no problems entering the U.S. without actually activating our visas. We were just visiting my fiance and told the officers that we were not ready to activate our visas at that time.

We drove across the border at Blaine, Washington, we did not fly into the U.S.

The border officers are very uninformed in matters regarding to visas. I actually returned to Canada a couple of weeks after activating my K-1 visa to attend my brother's wedding. I had not married my fiance at the time and was allowed to enter the U.S. even after I had activated my K-1 visa.

I do NOT recommend anyone do this, I am simply stating what my experience was. It just goes to show you that they make up the rules as they go along. I was told I could return to Canada to attend my brother's wedding (a couple of weeks after I entered the US) the day that I activated my K-1 visa.

Edited by raymaga


KURT & RAYMA (K-1 Visa)

Oct. 9/03... I-129F sent to NSC

June 10/04... K-1 Interview - APPROVED!!!!

July 31/04... Entered U.S.

Aug. 28/04... WEDDING DAY!!!!

Aug. 30/04... I-485, I-765 & I-131 sent to Seattle

Dec. 10/04... AOS Interview - APPROVED!!!!! (Passport stamped)

Sept. 9/06... I-751 sent to NSC

May 15/07... 10-Yr. PR Card arrives in the mail

Sept. 13/07... N-400 sent to NSC

Aug. 21/08... Interview - PASSED!!!!

Sept. 2/08... Oath Ceremony

Sept. 5/08... Sent in Voter Registration Card

Sept. 9/08... SSA office to change status to "U.S. citizen"

Oct. 8/08... Applied in person for U.S. Passport

Oct. 22/08... U.S. Passport received


KAELY (K-2 Visa)

Apr. 6/05... DS-230, Part I faxed to Vancouver Consulate

May 26/05... K-2 Interview - APPROVED!!!!

Sept. 5/05... Entered U.S.

Sept. 7/05... I-485 & I-131 sent to CLB

Feb. 22/06... AOS Interview - APPROVED!!!!! (Passport NOT stamped)

Dec. 4/07... I-751 sent to NSC

May 23/08... 10-Yr. PR Card arrives in the mail

Mar. 22/11.... N-400 sent to AZ

June 27/11..... Interview - PASSED!!!

July 12/11..... Oath Ceremony

We're NOT lawyers.... just your average folks who had to find their own way!!!!! Anything we post here is simply our own opinions/suggestions/experiences and should not be taken as LAW!!!!

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